Overview of Bogan Bingo

Updated January 19, 2024

Founded by Darren Hillsley from the small town of Traralgon in the state of Victoria, Australia, Bogan Bingo has grown from a quirky alternative pub night to a global phenomenon that has made Hillsley a millionaire.
Bogan Bingo Hall Review

Heading into its 18th year in 2023, Bogan Bingo has successfully exported its hard-rocking bingo party all over Australia and then overseas to South Africa, to Canada, and to the United Kingdom, with more than 500 shows running every year to rapturous receptions.

Bogan Bingo Review

Hillsley and his rock’n’roll co-conspirators are out to prove that bingo can go with a bang thanks to their boozy, noisy, laidback Aussie-style show that gets crowds rocking to hits from AC/DC, Bon Jovi and pretty much any other bands to have sported a mullet over the years.

The whole thing is inspired by working class 1980s Australian culture, which is something that, according to Hillsley, people love to mock and celebrate in equal measure.

He told The Age: “No one really grew up in inner-city Melbourne or Sydney; most people grew up in the country or the outer suburbs, so we grew up on a diet of AM radio and preferred comfort over fashion. Bogan was just a phase we all went through. It’s got nostalgia intertwined amongst it rather than shame.

“You’ll often see people who grew up in the country and now live a very extravagant lifestyle but as soon as they get a few drinks in them the bogan comes out. It actually makes them more human, more accessible and more humbling. It’s a good leveller.”

What to expect at Bogan Bingo

Bogan Bingo Review

When you arrive at any venue that is playing host to a Bogan Bingo event, you will be guided to the table you have pre-booked when you bought your tickets. At your table you will find all the bingo cards and dabbers your team requires, and while some venues will provide table service you may need to go to the bar to order food and drinks at other locations.

The most striking element of Bogan Bingo is undoubtedly the hosts, who can be found on the stage of all types of venue, swigging from cans of beer, sporting bandanas and mullets, with a traditional bingo ball dispenser close by.

Bogan Bingo games

Once all the teams are settled and ready to play, one of the hard-rocking bingo callers will call the numbers, which come with a distinctly Australian twist. Expect calls such as “Number 80 – a dingo stole my baby”, and number 44 dedicated to legendary crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, who died at that age.

The caller’s sidekick takes the role of DJ, blasting out classic rock hits to accompany various different calls, and there is more than a small amount of audience interaction required. The comedic callers will inform you of the rituals that come along with various numbers, and the requirement to jump up, strike a pose, and shout “BLOODY BINGO!” in your most convincing Australian accent if you get a win.

Bogan Bingo prizes

Bogan Bingo Review

The whole affair comes with plenty of raunchy, raucous comedy, and it really is all about the laughs and the atmosphere – especially given that the prizes on offer at Bogan Bingo tend to be pretty strange to say the least! You might stand to win a Bogan Bingo poncho (better known as a bin bag), a branded dustpan and brush, or – somewhat more appealing – a holiday to Egypt! The lads like to mix it up with their own brand of trashiness and a few special treats thrown in for good measure.

Venues and tickets

Bogan Bingo has taken place at all sorts of weird and wonderful locations over the years, from pubs and clubs, to corporate events, to hen and stag nights, charity fundraisers, and university parties. The show even had a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but if you want to find out where the regular events are taking place you can head to BoganBingo.co.uk for a full schedule and links to purchase tickets.

Group bookings

When you purchase tickets for a Bogan Bingo event, reserved seating is included. If booking on behalf of a group, you will need to give a name for your group booking, under which your bingo cards and seats will be allocated.

Alternatively, members of your group can book individually, using the same group booking name, and the staff at Bogan Bingo will ensure you are all sat together at the event.

Bogan Bingo Review

Dress code

Please note that all Bogan Bingo events are strictly 18+ and not suitable for anyone who is easily offended or of a sensitive nature. The events even have a non-obligatory but encouraged dress code: trailer trash fashion or ’80s passion!

Prices

Tickets for a Bogan Bingo event cost £14 per person.

Bogan Bingo Q&A – All you ever needed to know

What is the Bogan Bingo experience. 

Bogan Bingo is the chaotic comedy bingo game show of mullets, mayhem and 80s anthems. Hosted by 2 loveable, salt-of-the-earth Aussie blokes with a penchant for beers, bingo and bad language.

Why is your event/show different from other live Bingo events? 

As the longest running bingo hall show in London, Bogan Bingo has seen the bingo landscape change and grow over the years. At its heart, Bogan Bingo is a comedy show and has garnered multiple 5-star reviews from various publications at various comedy and fringe festivals around the world. It’s a hilarious night out that appeals to a broad demographic and continues to sell out every week even after almost 14 years. 

Where did the idea for Bogan Bingo come from? 

Bogan Bingo was born in Melbourne Australia in 2005 as one man’s quest to get more people to play the great sport of bingo. 

When did you begin running shows/events? 

Bogan Bingo has been running on a weekly basis in London since April 2008. 

How do you see live bingo continuing to evolve in the next decade? 

The appetite for unique, fun experiences will continue to grow as will the number of live bingo offerings, each with their own spin or theme on the classic game.

Where did the inspiration come from for an 80’s bingo show? 

A Bogan is an urban Australian character that was at their peak in the 1980’s. The styling of the characters was based on this and hence the music needed to reflect the time also. Plus, the 80s are such a smorgasbord of classic rock anthems.

Did the characters develop over time, or did you initially rehearse the content? 

The characters were developed over time and continue to develop. New ‘Bogans’ bring new ideas to the characters and essentially create different versions of the characters. 

How much does the younger generation connects to the 80’s theme and scheme?  

Much of the music is timeless and our track selection leans heavily into the classics. Unsurprisingly the younger generation are familiar with all the hits.

Blingo Hip Hop Bingo

Bogan Bingo has been such a roaring success that the team behind it have spawned another imaginative brainchild that is attraction similar attention: Blingo.

Bogan Bingo Review

The concept is similar to Bogan Bingo, but there are hip-hop hits in place of the rock classics, and you can expect lip sync battles, dance-offs, and “an all killer, no filler hip-hop and RnB soundtrack”. The hosts are Grandma Flash and her 87-year-old lover, who bring more than two decades of experience in the entertainment and comedy industry to their hilarious bingo rap show.

Blingo has taken London by storm with a successful run of sold-out shows, and you can now book tickets for Blingo events over at HipHopBingo.com/liveshows.

You can even book Blingo for your own event, and the team will bring the party to your location, including all the bingo equipment required and a sound system loaded with hip-hop classics.

Blingo games last roughly an hour, and the team regularly host an after-show DJ set with all the best party hits from the 80s, 90s and noughties.

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Anita Heffernan Whichbingo Author

Author And Managing Editor

Anita Heffernan

Anita is well-known and respected within the online bingo industry, she loves all things bingo and slots and has been involved with online bingo and gambling sites since the late 1990’s. She has been the full-time writer and Editor of WhichBingo for much of that time and is respected by operators and players alike for her no-nonsense judgments and opinions. Anita has seen the highs and lows of the industry she loves, has seen it grow and develop and contract again into what it is today. She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and has a reputation for being fair and to the point in her writing.